ZIMBABWE’S top amateur golfer Scott Vincent put on another sterling performance with a second place finish at the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular at the Mission Inn Resort & Club in Orlando, Florida in the United States on Sunday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Fresh from another win at the Puerto Rico Classic, Vincent shot 73 -69- 70 for a four-under par 212 to finish in second place, two strokes behind the eventual winner Austin Powell from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vincent’s exploits together with his teammate Trevor Cone, who finished in third place, ensured the Virginia Tech ran away with the team title after posting a three-round total of 3-under-par 861.
The 22-year-old’s impressive display came barely 24 hours after he was, for the second year running, nominated for the prestigious Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the top collegiate golfer in the US.
Named after the legendary American professional golfer Ben Hogan, who is generally considered as one of the greatest players in the history of the game, the award is the most prestigious award in men’s college golf in the US.
Vincent, who was recently named the Atlantic Coast Conference (AAC) Men’s Golfer of the Month for February, features among the top 24 US collegiate golfers on the Ben Hogan Award Watch List.
The list of 10 semi-finalists, which could include individuals not on the current list, will be unveiled on April 15 before the announcement of the three finalists on May 6.
The winner will be crowned at a black-tie banquet at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 18, prior to the start of the PGA TOUR’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
First issued in 1990, the award also included academic achievements in its original list of standards but revised its criteria for the 2001-02 collegiate season to its current standard of honoring the outstanding amateur collegiate golfer.
Meanwhile, another US-based Zimbabwean amateur Ray Badenhorst recorded his best finish of the season thus far to steer the Florida Tech University team to a fifth place finish at the Southeastern Collegiate at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.
Badenhorst tied for second place at five-under following a one-under 71 over the last 18 holes.
He led the field of 90 players on par fours with a 3.83 stroke average and tied for the fourth-most birdies in the tournament at 11.
“I’m really proud of Ray (Badenhorst) for how he stuck it through for all three rounds,” Florida Tech head coach Chris Saltmarsh said.
“He had some opportunities today to really break through and get that win that’s not in our home tournament. I know he’s really looking forward to that. Each tournament we play, he gets closer and keeps learning. There are a lot of things he’s starting to grasp. That’s going to be a key for him potentially leading this program to its first-ever national championship berth and life after college golf.”